Photos: Sensible Vancouver unveils giant tour bus featuring Mary Jean "Watermelon" Dunsdon

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      With nine candidates running for a seat on city council, Vancouverites might have a hard time deciding how to vote in the upcoming municipal by-election on October 14.

      That might be why one party is trying to separate their candidate from the pack by plastering her face and message on the side of a giant tour bus from the 1960s.

      Mary Jean "Watermelon" Dunsdon may be known by some in Vancouver for her history as a cookie retailer on Wreck Beach. These days, she’s traded in her bikini for a business licence, and operates the Commercial Drive and Granville Island Licorice Parlours.

      The small business owner and master cannabis chef has been a vocal advocate for cannabis users and those involved in B.C.'s booming industry for years. She hopes to bring an informed voice on the issue to council, while also highlighting the need for more affordable public transit, housing, and free drug testing in the Downtown Eastside.

      "We need someone a little more friendly on council, because right now there is no voice for all the patients and consumers that use dispensaries," Dunsdon told the Straight during an interview in August.

      "I'd like to focus more on testing things rather than wondering who's selling it. Cannabis can be for everybody, and it has helped benefit lots and lots of people in Vancouver."

      Dunsdon and other members of Sensible Vancouver (like campaign manager Dana Larsen) have met with dispensary owners and leaders in the local cannabis industry to seek both financial and voter support, but also to spread the message to their respective client bases. So far, they say feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

      As we get closer to election day, watch the streets of Vancouver for Dunsdon's giant watermelon-embellished tour bus, or pop by her Commercial Drive shop, where the bus will be stationed for campaigning.

      Amanda Siebert
      Amanda Siebert
      Amanda Siebert
      Amanda Siebert
      Amanda Siebert